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Old 03-30-2010, 03:56 PM   #15
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I don't even want to think about trying this with 3 axles. That would be three wrecks, three sets of axles, a new suspension system since the torsion type from the factory wont work with a split axle......., but it is a great idea. I am glad you got me thinking.
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Old 03-30-2010, 03:59 PM   #16
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The Sierra regenerative braking works using a motor-generator between the engine and the transmission.

It would work fine on an Airstream if you're willing to retrofit a suitable drive train less engine. For braking on both axles you'd want a twin screw setup, and a 4L60e transmission out of the Sierra, and the motor-generator. Then it's simply a matter of some controls and programming.

In general, traction motors are too heavy to be placed on the axle except for rail applications because the unsprung weight goes way too high, so the obvious solution of a planetary gear unit and a motor/generator on the axle won't work. That leaves the standard possibilities of either a solid axle (cheap but heavy) or a full-floating setup with independent shafts to a center diff or maybe to a planetary and m-g dedicated to each wheel.

As late as the 1990s some German passenger railcars used a generator driven by one wheel to charge batteries. The rest of the world uses head-end power (HEP), but the advantage of the old German system was that no electrical connection was required between cars.
You can actually take this concept one step further and have a trailer that could actually propel itself, like supplemental power on a hill or getting unstuck out in the boondocks. I was kind of inspired by what this guy did:

Electric Porsche 944
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Aviator View Post
I don't even want to think about trying this with 3 axles. That would be three wrecks, three sets of axles, a new suspension system since the torsion type from the factory wont work with a split axle......., but it is a great idea. I am glad you got me thinking.
Oh I agree this is pandora's box! I dont' even want to think about what a modification like this would do to resale value.
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Old 03-30-2010, 04:07 PM   #18
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Interesting idea, but this is really better implemented on the tow vehicle. That way, one can descend hills using regenerative braking much as one uses compression brakes, and the trailer service brakes are left unmodified to deal with more emergency stopping conditions. Keep in mind that whatever energy storage mechanism is employed, it needs to deal with storing the power generated by retarding speed on long downgrades; for 14k lbs or more for trailer + TV this can easily be 100 to 200 KW - not something you're going to easily store quickly - that's 300 to 600 amps at 330 volts - an impressive battery charger indeed.

I built a hydraulic hybrid car as part of a master's thesis in mechanical engineering in the early 80s; I ended up using a hydraulic accumulator & pump/motor as it would store & discharge power at a much higher rate than an equivalent weight of lead acid batteries.

Storing all the available energy on a long descent is hard.

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Old 03-30-2010, 04:14 PM   #19
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I built a hydraulic hybrid car as part of a master's thesis in mechanical engineering in the early 80s; I ended up using a hydraulic accumulator & pump/motor as it would store & discharge power at a much higher rate than an equivalent weight of lead acid batteries.

Storing all the available energy on a long descent is hard.

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Wow!!! That is so cool. Do you have any pictures?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I built a hydraulic hybrid car as part of a master's thesis in mechanical engineering in the early 80s; I ended up using a hydraulic accumulator & pump/motor as it would store & discharge power at a much higher rate than an equivalent weight of lead acid batteries. - Bart
Kinda like the "air-accumulator" used by the Indians in Asia...
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:24 AM   #21
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Wow!!! That is so cool. Do you have any pictures?
Unfortunately, not scanned in... the vehicle was a old Renault Dauphine, and I used a small industrial engine for power. I'll try to find them and scan them in. This was long before digital cameras...
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:27 AM   #22
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Kinda like the "air-accumulator" used by the Indians in Asia...
Well, it did use compressed nitrogen on one side of the rubber bladder in the accumulator for energy storage....

Here's a note about a more recent effort in the same vein:

Hydraulic Hybrid Cars: No Batteries Required - 2008-04-28 00:00:00 | Design News

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Old 03-31-2010, 11:22 PM   #23
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We're part way there, we tow with an '08 Yukon Hybrid. Having the AS help would be great.
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